I was watching the new reading group that had sprung up last Fall as they met in the Pub near the fireplace. They call themselves ‘A Gathering of Stitchers’. It was, not surprisingly, a reading group devoted to books on knitting and related subjects. Liath put together the group, but like all our reading groups (there’s at least a half-dozen at any given time with overlapping memberships), the group is communitarian in nature, which means everyone decides on what to read.
They started off with a surprising choice, McKillip’s Solstice Wood, but Liath said there was an interesting take on weavers and magic in it, which there assuredly is. Later choices included books on wools of the world, the Silk Road, the riots against mechanized weaving, and an oral history of knitting in rural Scotland between the Wars.
I wasn’t ‘tall surprised when I discovered that the Steward had granted them a generous stipend to visit sheep farms in the Nordic countries and talk to weavers and knitters there. And she promised them yet another stipend to go to Turkey as well. I was going on that one with Ingrid, my wife who’s the Estate buyer and our Steward, as Istanbul is one of her favourite purchasing cities, but the political unrest there made us cancel that trip.
Several years after getting the group going, we snagged our first meeting of Nordic weavers and knitters who decided to gather here in the dead of winter, as many had farms, which meant they couldn’t get away during the summer. Some forty came, stayed ten days, had a great time, and arranged to come back the next year. I was particularly happy, as the Pub made a very tidy profit at a normally slow time of year.
Oh and it’s fascinating to watch them discuss the book they’d just read and knit as they did so. They maintain eye contact, converse intelligently, and knit steadily along without ever looking down!